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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Game 124: Manuel, umpire blow game (70-54)

The Phils lost a game they would have won tonight if not for a blown call and the Phils' decision to sacrifice bunt with the winning run at the plate.

Michael Bourn, who reached on a bunt single in the 8th inning, was tagged out by Ryan Howard but called safe. He also ran out of his baseline by at least a foot. The ump had two reasons to call him out; he missed both. He scored the winning run later with two outs.

I actually don't disagree with the Phils' refusing to walk Carlos Lee, who drove in the tying and winning runs with a base open. He has been horrendous this year, and the man on deck, Chris Johnson, has been much better.

However, with Wilson Valdez at the plate with nobody out and the tying run on first in the 9th, he tried to bunt. He failed, and the game was over two batters later. It is inconceivable to try a sac bunt there: even a successful bunt DECREASES YOUR CHANCES OF TYING THE GAME (let alone winning it). An awful decision deserves an awful outcome, and the Phils got it.

Tomorrow the Phils try to recover when Cole Hamels faces RHP Bud Norris.

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